Apr 23


The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book, by Martin Evening ????
The book offers a comprehensive summary of all the functions of Lightroom 3, written by a professional photographer. The book is profuse with illustrations, making the book quite easy to follow along. Although I have been using Lightroom as my main storage/processing program for photographs for several years now, this book opened up many more possibilities for the way I could use Lightroom. Much of the functionality would apply more to a professional photographer, such of means of group processing large batches of photographs. Even still, Lightroom remains my preferred photograph program, and it was nice to learn how I could make it better serve my photographic needs.

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Apr 16



Le Nozze di Figaro, by Wolfgang A. Mozart, conducted by Karajan ???? and Böhm ?????
Both of these performances are awesome, the first with Herbert von Karajan, performed in 1949 with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, and George London, and the second by Karl Böhm, performed in 1969 with a star-studded cast of Hermann Prey, Gundula Janowitz, Edith Mathis, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Tatiana Troyanos. The sound of the Karajan recording was definitely inferior to Böhm’s later recording, providing the greatest distraction. Yet, for a post-war production, it has a stunning and awesome quality to it. Böhm maintains technical excellence while producing a piece that overwhelms with charm. Both recordings are fitting for the Mozart lover.

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Apr 16


Modern Intellectual History: From Descartes to Derrida, by Lawrence Cahoone (Teaching Company) ????
I’ve been a bit disappointed recently at the quality of Teaching Company lectures and have backed off on purchase of some of the latest productions from that company. My feeling was that the lecturers were too biased in their discussions without giving credence to opposing views. In this lecture series, Cahoone maintains a very compelling discussion of the major philosophers from Descartes to those still alive today, holding ones’ interest while giving an in depth review of the main philosophical contributions of the person under discussion. He ends a touch weak, with a discussion arguing against the death of philosophy. It seems as though philosophy has gone full circle, with philosophy realizing that a crisis created by Derrida and other post-modernists have left no discussion since the claim is that all truth is either un-knowable or un-communicateable. Cahoone shows how modern philosophers have tended to return to the classics to resolve this muddle, creating a spiral (not a circle). Thankfully, he doesn’t discuss whether philosophy is spiraling downwards or upwards, as I tend to feel that it’s taking a downward spiral. After all, without an infinite reference frame, there should be no way of knowing whether one is spiraling up or down! This is a lecture series worth listening to, and will probably be heard again by me.

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Apr 16


Touching the Void, starring MacKey and Aaron ?????
I love to watch climbing films, but often they are miserably done in a manner that considers the viewer completely naive to climbing technique and possibilities. I was fairly nervous that this film would repeat the horrid sensationalism of other recently reviewed films, like the Vertical Limit. This movie was everything but that. It is based on the true but unbelievable story of two British climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates who set out to scale an unnamed peak in Patagonia. In the process, they succeed to make the summit, but descent is greeted by disaster when white-out conditions, and a fall by one of the partners, leaves the two completely out of communication, and presuming that the fallen climber is dead. The struggle to get off the mountain and eventual survival of both climbers is well beyond belief. The movie does a beautiful job with superb acting to portray as accurately as possible with what is thought to be the events that led to both climbers getting out alive. About the only other story this incredible is Doug Scott escaping from an unnamed peak in the Himalayas with both femurs fractured, while living out a 2 week storm. This is a movie very much worth watching, even if you aren’t into climbing.

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Apr 14


The Time-Crunched Cyclist, by Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg ???
Chris Carmichael is the primary trainer for Lance Armstrong. In this book, he suggests a program for those who are not professional cyclists, and thus find difficulty in riding their bicycle greater than 20 hrs/week. In the book, he proposes a program that can develop endurance training at only six or more hours a week. Much of the emphasis is placed on short extreme efforts in the saddle, and allowing enough rest between training periods to permit recovery. Carmichael offered a review of the basics of exercise physiology showing how that incorporates into the development of a training program. He also discusses other sundry aspects of training, such as nutrition, and weight training. The book is an easy read text, and written in a practical manner. It does seem moderately oriented toward younger jocks who wish to have a job during the week, and then still compete on weekends.

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